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Life can throw lots of different kinds of obstacles our way, and sometimes it comes to a point where we need to set healthy personal boundaries. Maybe you’re dealing with a friend or family member who isn’t taking accountability for something, maybe at work you aren’t feeling that things are being done fairly, maybe in your relationship with your spouse or kids you aren’t feeling respected. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to not put yourself and your feelings on the backburner.
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Boundaries are a great way to gain some control over a situation that you otherwise might feel weak in. All relationships you have should have some level of boundaries in them, and many have them set already without even realizing it. For example, you might discuss certain topics with a friend that you wouldn’t discuss with a parent. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just an obvious no-no and an unspoken boundary that’s already set.
Unfortunately, sometimes things come to a point where it needs to become spoken and heard. Being put in those kinds of positions is not fun, but you cannot allow yourself to get walked over by people in any means. If it’s come to that point for you, here are my top 4 tips on how to set healthy personal boundaries and stick to them:
1 – Learn that respecting yourself is not selfish
This is number one for a reason! Often times, we’ll feel scared of what the other person might say, feel, etc, and in return not set any boundaries. You need to realize that by doing this, you are making that person more of a priority than yourself, and in the end, this only hurts you more. It is not selfish at all to listen to your feelings and not tolerate certain behavior. Negative energy in your life is not healthy in any means. So first things first – respect and love yourself enough to do this! You can start small by spending a few minutes a day setting positive affirmations for yourself, which can help you change your mindset from “I’m being selfish” to “I’m worthy and don’t deserve this kind of treatment.”
2 – Take some time for self care to get in tune with your feelings
We all know how important self care is. Making time for self care is an amazing way to connect with and learn about yourself and your feelings. There are so many ways to do this! Maybe make it a habit to journal daily, which is a great way to release your stress and get in tune with your feelings. This will help you tremendously with learning where it is you stand, and what kind of boundaries you need to set.
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3 – Learn to say no sometimes
I am definitely guilty of being a people pleaser. I want to make sure everyone is happy, and cannot stand being the reason for someone’s pain or sadness. But this comes to a fault for sure, because it sets me up to be walked over easily. When you always say yes, people learn you’re a “pushover” and take complete advantage of that. I’ve had to learn to stand up for myself and not get swayed into doing something I either don’t feel comfortable doing or am tired of being the only one doing. Whatever the case may be for you, again – it’s not selfish to say no. It’s ok to put your foot down sometimes. You don’t have to feel bad for choosing to not be taken advantage of yet again.
4 – Stay calm, yet be assertive
If you’ve had your feelings building up over time, it can be easy to one day just snap. But don’t let the other person win. You can start with something small if needed instead of pouring it all out. The point is to stay calm and respectful, yet also assertive. Continue to stand by your decision, no matter what the other person tries to say to you to switch things around and get in your head to make you feel bad about your boundaries. If you can manage to stay calm yet assertive, the other person will have no choice but to respect it, even if they don’t like it.
Always remember that therapy, counseling, etc, is always a great option to consider if you have a hard time doing this yourself. We all have different pasts and lives that we are living, and there is no shame in seeking out guidance. What are some tips you could share on setting healthy boundaries?